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Fantasy Football: Week 13 Recap

What can we take away from Week 13? The playoff picture may be no clearer than it was a week ago, and as far as fantasy is concerned, it really was the week of the running back. Lost among the NFC South/AFC West playoff talk was Tom Brady’s unusual 258-yard, zero-touchdown, one-interception performance against the Bills. He totaled only 8.3 PPR points on Sunday, a rare occurrence indeed. Fortunately, if you do own Brady, the following players more than made up for his un-MVP like performance. Here’s your Week 13 wrap:

Thumbs Up

  • Pretty hard to tell which Packers running back has the bigger upside entering next season. On one hand, Jamaal Williams was lights out once again, rushing for 113 yards and a touchdown. On the other, Aaron Jones looked mighty impressive on Green Bay’s game-winning overtime drive, bouncing to the outside after originally being stopped at the line of scrimmage to score a 20-yard touchdown. Both combined for 28.3 fantasy points, and with Aaron Rodgers potentially returning in Week 15, he has to be licking his lips.
  • Three straight 100-yard games for Keenan Allen. It was against the Browns, but still, this San Diego passing attack is now responsible for 1,062 yards over the last three weeks. They also converted eight of their 15 third down conversions. With the Redskins up next, we can probably expect another productive day.
  • No love for the Dolphins D/ST this week? They’re owned in only 8.2% of leagues but managed a league-high 27 fantasy points against the Broncos. Owners can be forgiven here, because hey, the Dolphins have allowed at least 24 points in their last six games. Three sacks and an interception returned for a touchdown earns them a gold star this week, though.
  • Alvin Kamara this, Alvin Kamara that, nothing is really surprising anymore. He carved up the Panthers defense for 126 total yards and two touchdowns on Sunday, but we can’t neglect Mark Ingram, either. For the third time in the last four weeks, Ingram led the Saints with 85 rushing yards and a touchdown, equalling 24.2 fantasy points. No two running backs have ever racked up over 1,500 total yards on the same team, but that’s what these two are on pace for. The pair combined for 238 scrimmage yards and three TDs on Sunday, so good luck to any owner facing Kamara or Ingram in the playoffs.
  • Killer day for the Rams D/ST. Blaine Gabbert looked bewildered on the sidelines more than once on Sunday, as the Cardinals gave up six sacks and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. The Rams walked away with 21 points on the day as they enter a massive Week 14 matchup against the Eagles at home.
  • Feels good to have a Ravens player up here for a change. Alex Collins was outstanding during Baltimore’s 44-20 thumping of the Lions, carrying for 75 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Sunday marked the third straight scoring game for Collins, and his fifth posting 70 yards or more.
  • If it wasn’t for Kamara, Rex Burkhead would’ve taken home top honors this week. His 25.3 fantasy points were the second highest of his career, and after a two-touchdown performance, it’s probably time owners took note. He’s available in 38% of leagues, and since he’s now seeing an even split of the carries with Dion Lewis, these numbers should stay consistent going forward.
  • Quick shoutout to Frank Gore this week. His 61 yards probably weren’t popular among fantasy circles, but he now ranks inside the Top 5 of the NFL’s All-Time Career rushing list with 13,697 yards. It’s a milestone Gore was always likely to achieve this season, and for the small percentage of people who doubted the 34-year-old could hold on to the starting role, sucks to be you.
  • He continues to fly under the radar, but now might be the time for us to seriously pay attention to Kenyan Drake. The second-year Dolphin rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s blowout win over the Broncos, and since this was his first real start as Miami’s “feature” back, he should be a popular name on the wire this week.
  • Can we all take a minute to bake in the glory of Alex Smith and Travis Kelce’s marvelous day? The two combined for 185 yards and two touchdowns, and as far as Kelce is concerned, he led all tight ends with 25.4 points. It’s also nice of Kelce to put up those two touchdowns within the first five minutes of the Chiefs/Jets game. Way to really let owners relax and enjoy their Sunday, Travis.
  • It was also nice of Tyreek Hill to join in on the party. His 185 yards and two touchdowns equaled 30.5 fantasy points, which not only led all wide receivers but also set a new career high. Since Kelce was rather quiet after his opening five-minute score-fest, Hill cashed in on the rest of Smith’s clinic. It’s just a shame that somehow, the Chiefs, y’know, lost the game.
  • So the Jets are 5-7, raise your hand if you saw that coming? I’m not sure what’s more encouraging, New York’s record or the fact that the Jets have now found their receivers of the future in Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse. The two went b-a-n-a-n-a-s against the Chiefs defense, combining for 44.1 points.
  • Throwback to the Russell Wilson of old, because that’s what we saw on Sunday night. The Eagles defense struggled to lay a hand on him all night, as Wilson continued to dance around in the pocket and buy time with some (perhaps controversial) shovel passes. He also found Doug Baldwin for 84 yards and wound up with 24.2 points on the night.
  • Carson Wentz struggled for much of the very same game, but he still threw for 348 yards and a touchdown. Nelson Agholor found pay dirt in the fourth quarter, finishing with a very quiet 141 yard, 27.1 point performance. That was good for second best among all wide receivers.

Thumbs Down

  • I guess we now have to ask ourselves, where do we rank Mike Evans ahead of next season? It was another so-so performance against the Packers, totaling 33 yards and 5.3 points. You can’t even blame this one on Jameis Winston either, because hey, he actually had himself a decent day.
  • Tough to say how much Sunday’s loss hurts the Falcons going forward, but Matt Ryan’s lousy day certainly hurt owners. It was a pretty mediocre 173-yard effort from the 32-year-old, as the Falcons converted just one of their 10 third down chances. If you owned shares in any of the Falcons’ offensive players, they probably helped contribute to your loss. Julio Jones was just as quiet, finishing with 24 yards on only six targets, and despite Devonta Freeman’s 74-yard effort, he totaled only 9.1 points.
  • Tough break for the Bills as a whole. Tyrod Taylor’s knee injury cost owners dearly, and if it wasn’t for LeSean McCoy’s 93 yards, this might go down as one of the worst games in recent Buffalo memory. It was also a harsh day for the Bills receivers. Any high hopes for Zay Jones were quickly dashed – he led the way with just receiving 22 yards.
  • The 49ers have given up the sixth most rushing yards per game this season (123.9), and if you’re a Jordan Howard owner, you must’ve been coming into Week 13 expecting big things. So… how does 38 yards and 4.3 points sound? Howard saw just 13 carries all day, averaging 2.9 yards in the process, and since Mitchell Trubisky threw the ball just 15 times, it’s almost hard to remember the Bears playing offense at all. For the second straight week, Howard has posted 5.0 fantasy points or fewer, capping off what has easily been one of the more frustrating players to own.
  • Be honest with yourself, did you really think Jared Cook would be a consistent tight end from week-to-week? Fair enough if you thought he could put up some numbers against the Giants on Sunday, though, because his 1.9 PPR points were certainly a huge letdown.
  • Keeping up the theme of disappointing tight ends, Jack Doyle and Zach Ertz, what gives? Sure, the pair faced difficult defenses, and since Jacksonville and Seattle have given up fewer than 13.0 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends, we could cut Doyle and Ertz a break. But still, Doyle was started in over 48.3% of leagues, and even though Ertz left hurt in the third quarter, he went nuts against the Bears last week for 103 yards and a touchdown. So I guess you had every right to expect a little more.

On The Shelf

  • The good news is Greg Olsen hasn’t sustained any structural damage to his injured right foot. The bad news is, he missed Sunday’s game against the Saints. It’s an injury worth tracking ahead of Week 14.
  • Also less worrying is Matthew Stafford’s right-hand injury. Jim Caldwell told the media afterward that it’s of the bruised variety.
  • Others to Watch: Zach Ertz (concussion), Adrian Peterson (neck), Tyrod Taylor (knee).

Surprise, Surprise

Sometimes all you can do is laugh. We’ve spent the last 13 weeks talking about how Blake Bortles can’t pass and the Jags defense is carrying them toward the playoffs, and while that still may be true, here he is with his second 300+ yard passing game of the season. To top that off, this is also the second time Bortles has posted 25 fantasy points or more this year. And to be honest, his hookups with Marqise Lee were nothing short of glorious. The two combined for 86 yards and a touchdown on just seven receptions, but that wasn’t even the biggest highlight of the day. Bortles was killer on third down, throwing for 116 yards and two touchdowns. With Leonard Fournette having a half-quiet game, it’s nice to know Bortles is capable of this, even if it was against the Colts.

Mr. Irrelevant

Can we still make the case for Rookie of the Year? For all of the Chiefs’ mighty efforts on offense, Kareem Hunt hardly factored into the day. He rushed for 40 yards with 23 receiving yards, and with only 9.3 points earned in the flex, it was another “off” day for the Chiefs star. The Jets defense is tough against the run, but they have allowed 21.3 points per game to opposing running backs. With games against the Raiders, Chargers, Dolphins, and Broncos to close out the season, Hunt should still clear 1,000 yards, but with just four touchdowns next to his name, the production has really slowed down.

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